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Opinion

  • With children fast approaching the high school age/grades I am pleased to see that we, as a community, are one step closer to hiring a new principal for the Los Alamos High School.

    The youth of Los Alamos deserve to have a decision made to provide some stability, especially with the upcoming years of construction on the high school facilities.

    However, the one concern that has come to light is that one of the two finalists is the spouse of the current School Board President Ken Johnson.

  • New Mexico citizens will be exposed to potential public highway accidents involving high explosives if the New Mexico Environmental Department denies Los Alamos National Laboratory’s permit to treat these explosives at Los Alamos.

    Each year LANL safely burns many thousands of pounds of high explosive wastes at temperatures sufficiently elevated to destroy all toxins and render them inert.

    If the permit is denied, these wastes will have to be transported on New Mexico’s public highways to treatment facilities in distant states.

  • Tom Brown says, “Exciting and fulfilling as our lives may be, most of us are cut off from our natural surroundings. We live in heated houses, drive automobiles on asphalt highways…we listen to a barrage of unnatural sounds…we live by the clock. We have lost our connection with the earth.”  

  • Tiger Woods returned to golf this past weekend.

    As I write this I have no idea how he finished in the Masters, one of the game’s four major championships.  He had a good first day, a decent second day and made the cut. Damn.

    Look, at the risk of being called every vile name in the book – including racist – let me say up front that I’d hoped he would tank.  

  • SANTA FE — The most dreaded time of year is here again. Income taxes are due tomorrow. Millions of Americans have pulled out the shoebox and are sorting through receipts and bills. If you haven’t started yet, you may be too late.

    On average, Americans filling out the long form spend 21.4 hours wading through the 172 pages of explanations for the federal form. Some 86 million more already have taken their records to a professional.

  • The Luna Community College Rough Riders baseball team routed their bosses and administration last week, without putting on the cleats.

    In fact, the Rough Rider players hit a grand slam last week without picking up a bat. What they did was join together and put their names on the line to stop the years-long shameful drinking on the job by their coach, Peter Ortiz.

  • When I walk on Sundays with my faithful mutt along the bottom of the Snake River Canyon, I usually hear only the wind in my ears.    

    It’s surprising how loud a breeze can be in a human ear, and try as I might I’ve not found anything about breeze-sounds to be particularly interesting. Still, just to keep me awake, perhaps, Mother Nature punctuates the breeze sometimes with a snake’s rattle in the warmth of summer — and, of course, I do listen carefully for them.

  • I’m a hugger. Always have been, always will be. My parents brought me up to be one; I married one and my doctor is one. Problem is, when my doctor has bad news for me, instead of walking into the room with a smile and giving me a big hug, as she usually does, she walks in frowning and sits straight down in the chair. It’s an instant give away. And the problem is, if she’s going to tell me bad news, then that’s when I need a big hug the most!

  • “The challenges and opportunities that confront Mississippi and the nation demand creative and innovative responses if we are to realize the potential that the future holds for our citizens. Our best hope for increased prosperity, health and quality of life for all lies in our ability to take advantage of the full range of talents and perspectives available to us.”

  • It’s another one of those lists with New Mexico bringing up the rear. The subject is broadband access.

    New Mexico ranks 46th nationally in Internet use and 36th in broadband (high-speed Internet) telecommunications, according to the U. S. Department of Commerce. About 78 percent of New Mexicans have DSL, compared with 82 percent nationally; 77 percent have access to cable modem, compared with 96 percent nationally.

  • Huge investments intended for additional plutonium infrastructure at Los Alamos National Laboratory raise equally big questions. Specifically, will current plans make the best use of the growing billions of dollars now claimed necessary to do the job? Can these enormous costs really be justified?

    Or is there already evidence that these projects are simply out of control?

  • In today’s world of rapid pace, warp speed information delivery it sometimes seems as though everything happened yesterday. The Internet and cable television have delivered unto us a 24/7 news cycle, which can, in times of disasters, be a good thing. Other times, maybe not, such as when broadcasters are obviously reaching to fill time with yawn-inspiring stories.

  • Libraries are the canaries in the coal mine. This phrase is from our  high school librarian, Kenneth Holmes. It refers to the practice of coal miners who used to take live canaries with them into the mine. When the air in the mine got foul, the canary suffered the effects  first. When the canary stopped singing, the miners needed to be aware. When the canary died, it was time to leave!

    I write with some trepidation, although the superindent has informed me that input is still appropriate regarding proposed cuts to district programs.

  • The family of David M. Thurston, former Los Alamos High School science teacher, wishes to thank its principal, Sandy Warnock, its faculty, its students and alumni, and members of our community for their contributions to the Memorial Service for Dave at the high school.  

    Afterwards, several people told me it was the best memorial service they had attended.  The singing provided by the high school’s student chorus was especially touching and beautiful. It brought tears to many members of Dave’s family and those who were close to him.

  • Newspapers were guardians of our Republic. Now most have moved left, supporting our country’s slide into socialism or worse. I never thought of the Monitor as a zampolit for Marxism. So, I found the political cartoon that you published on April 18, “Tea Party: White Tea Blend,” which shows a KKK tea bag, vile and offensive, but telling.

    To disagree with the Left is to be called a “racist.” Such “politically incorrect” free speech is handled via today’s state media through character assassination, not facts.

  • The good citizens of Iceland have two mega-problems this spring. One is their economic and banking situation, which is still in something close to meltdown mode. I cannot fathom finances and economics, so I’m in no position to really follow that part of the current and dreary Icelandic saga.

    But the other is geological, and that’s a piece of the story a rock-head like me can better understand.

  • We’ve been railroaded! The New Mexico Rail Runner may be the biggest boondoggle ever dumped on state taxpayers — and that includes people in Los Alamos and every other town 20 or more miles away from I-25 between Belen and Santa Fe. This train is an ill-conceived, unnecessary “mass transit” system that serves a tiny fraction of the state’s population for an obscenely high price. We need to stop this train in its tracks!

  • There was a homeowner who wanted to rid his house of roaches.  A friend suggested using an aerosol spray called a “roach bomb.” You put the can in a room and turn it on (activating a continuous spray), exit the room, and let the fumes seek out and bomb the little critters.  The homeowner thought it over ... if one bomb per room is good, several bombs per room is better!  He bought a couple cases of roach bombs, set off several aerosols in each room, and ran out of the house.

  • New Mexico received more bad news recently with the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics report that the state lost 2,200 jobs between February and March, while 33 other states and the District of Columbia added jobs.

    While I can’t speak to how the other states are improving, one thing is certain — New Mexico is at a distinct disadvantage with its tax policies and recent package of tax increases passed by the legislature.

  • SANTA FE — A new trend has emerged in political campaign financing. It’s called doing it yourself. Digging into your own pocket. Needless to say, it helps if those pockets are deep.

    A basic rule of politics is that if you can’t raise money, you won’t be any good at rounding up votes either. But in an era when the rich are getting richer, many candidates are finding it possible to dig deep enough to find sufficient money for a victory.